Daytime discovery: Why Jerry Brown's so pale

July 16, 1992|By Dave Barry | Dave Barry,Knight-Ridder News Service

New York --The Democrats are doing an admirable job this year of pretending to be normal humans who can be entrusted with the U.S. Government.

In previous conventions, the Democrats have had an unfortunate tendency to come off as a collection of random lunar modules, raving into the TV cameras about issues like vegetable rights. But this year they're wearing suits and adopting moderate positions and appearing to be responsible mainstream middle Americans right up until the TV coverage ends.

No, really, the Democrats really are acting moderate, to the point of appearing deceased, or Republican.

Also, they have formed themselves into a massive fleshy mound of party unity. Even Mario Cuomo, who does not like Bill Clinton, set aside his personal feelings to give a gracious nominating speech in which he praised Clinton as "a protein-based life form."

The only major party figure who is not 100 percent on the bandwagon yet is Jerry Brown, which may actually be a good thing for the Democrats, in light of the shocking information I have uncovered.

Brown has been a mystery figure here. Most of the time his own delegates don't know where he is. He'll suddenly show up somewhere, and then, whoosh, he's gone. He doesn't have a hotel, so nobody even knows where he sleeps.

It seemed to me that there is only one logical explanation for this kind of behavior, and I'm sure it has already occurred to you. But before I was willing to print this allegation, I felt a responsibility, as a journalist, to check the facts. So I spoke with Carl Cannon, a reporter from California who has known Brown for years.

"Carl," I said. "Is Jerry Brown a vampire?"

Carl did not hesitate.

"It makes sense to me," he said. "Come to think of it, you know that stuff about how he supposedly sleeps on the floor, and that's how come he doesn't have a bed? He doesn't sleep on the floor. They just put that story out so people won't consider the possibility that he sleeps hanging from the ceiling."

This would be enough proof for most journalists, but I am not "most journalists," so I contacted the Vampire Research Center. I am not making this center up. It's located in Queens, N.Y., and it's run by Dr. Stephen Kaplan, who keeps track of the nation's vampires via the shrewd tactic of having them fill out and mail in census questionnaires.

Dr. Kaplan is a well-known figure in the vampire field and is frequently quoted in leading supermarket-checkout publications.

As a professional, Dr. Kaplan does not reveal the name of specific vampires, but he did make the following points:

*"It just so happens that California is the No. 1 state in terms of vampire population."

*"I have to tell you, Governor Brown looks very pale."

Needless to say, I will continue to investigate this important story, but only during daylight hours.

*

Party report: Most of the good parties here are closed to the press, but several of us journalists got into one by exercising our First Amendment right to pose as wealthy campaign contributors.

This party was paid for by the tobacco industry (motto: "We're Working to Develop More Cancer-Resistant Laboratory Rats"). It took place aboard an aircraft carrier. Really. For some reason there's an aircraft carrier, the Intrepid, sitting in the Hudson River right off midtown Manhattan, which means that of course its radio has been stolen.

Providing the music, on a stage set up on the flight deck, were the Fabulous Thunderbirds, a great dance band. But most of the party guests, instead of getting out there and shaking their booties, stood off in the distance, talking politics.

This is what's wrong with both political parties, if you ask me: The Weenie Quotient at conventions is way too high.

So I listened for a while, then left, keeping a wary eye out for the arrival of Governor Brown's advance bat.

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